Lochnagar Weekend

Check out this Lochnagar weekend post for stunning images of Scotland and in particular the Scottish Highlands at their (nearly) very best! Let Lady Lynne and I be your guide leading you up one of our most famous mountains, Lochnagar – just remember to pack your waterproofs!

Check out this Lochnagar weekend post for stunning images of Scotland, and in particular the Scottish Highlands at their (nearly) very best! Let Lady Lynne and I be your guide leading you up one of our most famous mountains, Lochnagar. Just remember to pack your waterproofs!

Hey folks, here’s the recap and pictures of our Lochnagar weekend trip that I mentioned in the borlotti bean and tuna salad recipe post.

I publish these posts to show you how we live and enjoy an active lifestyle which is part of the 80:20 way.

Doesn’t it always seem like so far in the past when you’re looking at holiday pictures? Still, it must have been a good one as I’m still smiling thinking about it and writing about it today!

Right, let’s kick off. 🙂

So we headed up to Braemar, from Glasgow, and to Rucksacks Bunkhouse two Friday’s ago. Rucksacks Bunkhouse also featured in this Braemar hillwalking weekend post.

Lochnagar weekend friday night easy pasta arrabiata recipe.

I thought we’d start with some food. Which, for a site mostly dedicated to healthy meals is pretty appropriate don’t you think?

You see there’s excellent cooking facilities in the bunkhouse and for me that was an opportunity to quickly put together my easy pasta arrabiata on the Friday evening. It would have been a shame not to use those facilities.

Now, not only was that a simple and delicious pasta dish, but the carbs provided us with plenty of fuel for our long hike and climb of Lochnagar planned for Saturday. Plus it kept in with our theme of everything low cost, helping us saving up for next years Hawaii trip!

So that meal, washed down with a few glasses of wine and an early night, in a bunkhouse that we were fortunate enough to have all to ourselves for the whole weekend, meant a great nights sleep!

Lochnagar weekend view of walk from Glen Muick car park.

Early morning Saturday on our Lochnagar weekend trip saw beautiful clear blue skies.

With no time to waste, both Lady Lynne and I were up and breakfasted early (porridge). Packed lunches were made (rolls with turkey breast, cheese and tomatoes) and we left the bunkhouse just after 8.00am.

By 9.30am we were parked up at the car park at Glen Muick ready for the hike up Lochnagar.  

Lochnagar weekend path leading to the start of the walk to Lochnagar.

There are vast estates around this area which is situated in royal deeside.

Nearby lies Balmoral Castle, summer home of the Royal Family, which is said to be the queens favourite retreat.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have a chance, nor time to pop in for a cuppa with The Queen. Our invitation probably got lost in the post. 😉

Looking over to Carn an t-Sagairt Mor and Carn a’Choire Bhoidheach

Anyway, looking south from our walk in, those mountains you see in the distance are the ones that Mike and I climbed from the other direction last time we were staying at Rucksacks.

Walk through the forest to the start of the path to Lochnagar.

There’s a few bits of peaceful forest walk to navigate through before we get to the exposed mountain path to begin our ascent.

Plenty of interesting fungi to look at too. If you’re into that sort of thing!

Lochnagar can just be seen through the bealach.

You can just about make out the top of the cliffs of Lochnager in the photographs above. The cliffs are seen clearer in a picture further down.

Check out some of those grey clouds that are building over the area of the summit. Perhaps that was a warning of what was to come later?

Our Lochnagar weekend has blue skies to the east.

Looking over to the east things couldn’t have been more different weather wise though eh?

Just lots of little light puffy clouds and certainly more blue than grey!

Climbing up the Lochnagar path.

After a long trek up a pretty well made land rover track, we cut off left and joined the main path for Lochnagar.

This path is another one of those that I often talk about having had extensive re-building and stone laying on it. This helps to prevent further erosion on the hill by making the path the easiest option and people then stick to it!

Here we climbed up towards the gap on the left (the bealach) before a much more steeper climb up the mountain, which Lady Lynne threatened divorce over!

Looking back whilst climbing up the Lochnagar path.

It’s always good to turn round every now and then to see just how far you’ve actually walked.

You can make out the land rover track going up the side of the mountain in the distance, before we took the left turn up this main path to Lochangar.

The whole distance we actually covered this day was about 8 miles.

View of Lochnagar cliffs and north corrie.

As we come over the bealach you get this stunning view that I mentioned earlier of Lochnagars cliffs and it’s northern corrie.

We didn’t see any climbing taking place there today, probably because of the conditions that ensued, but it is a particularly popular climb. Again if you’re into that sort of thing.

For ourselves you can see the stone path to the left that we continued to follow, with people on it in the distance, just as it takes a sharp left turn to climb up an area notorious for winter avalanches known as “the ladder”.

The summit of Lachnagar in the distance which is the reason for our Lochnagar weekend.

Having now climbed up “the ladder” and onto the plateau, in the far distance to the right you can just make out the summit, and where we headed. The path winding it’s way up there to the left.

The clouds getting darker, and lower…..

Raining looking back at the climb up the ladder. Lochnagar.

And that was the rain on!

The photograph above shows where I took the previous photograph from as well as those heavy showers of rain that we were now facing.

But, that’s why we carry a rucksack. No, it’s not just for carrying lunch. You need waterproofs, extra layers of clothing, water, maps, compass, emergency survival bag, first aid kit and a whistle!

Incidentally, my ruck sack is so big because I have to carry my DSLR camera now in it too. Can you imagine the extra weight? Ha ha! Good training!

A walk up the path to the final plateau of Lochnagar.

Just about at the next plateau, where those walkers are in the distance. Lynne was striding forth to be the first out of both of us to reach the summit of Lachnagar.

False summit at Lochnagar

And there she is. Lady Lynne on the summit of Lochnagar. Or is it……………..?

Approaching the real summit at Lochnagar. Our reason for our Lochnagar weekend.

No it’s not. It’s a false summit and the actual summit is that one seen in the distance. This was the second time on the climb today that Lady Lynne mentioned divorce. 😉

You can understand here too, how people can easily get lost and disorientated with the lack of visibility.

Starting back down the Lochnagar path.

As we began our descent back down to the car park at Loch Muick, I took this one final picture to show just how different the weather is back down in the glen. From 3000ft up, what a difference eh?

Anyway, after that we retraced out footsteps back down the same path to continue our Lochnagar weekend in the other ways that we enjoy.

Lochnagar Weekend ends with game pie at The Braemar Lodge restaurant.

Like food!

And having started with food, what better way than to end with food!

This particular tasty specimen was my main course of game pie in the Braemar Lodge Hotel restaurant. I can tell you I ate every last drop of this, and it was utterly delicious! 6 hours of solid hiking equates to about 2000 calories burned. I’d earned this. And that bit of bacon which was part of Lady Lynne’s dinner!

Folks, thanks for getting through all that and joining us for our Lochnagar weekend. If you enjoyed this, then please check out the hillwalking section.

I’ve got a fantastic, tasty 15 minute breakfast recipe coming on Thursday, be sure to check back for that. Or better still, subscribe! And then after that Lady Lynne and I will be taking our annual two weeks break. A camping holiday in Cornwall. With a visit to Rick Steins first restaurant. A bucket list tick off for me! 😀

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Comments

  1. And here I was thinking rucksacks were only for food! Gah – you mean you have all that other stuff to stuff in??? 🙂
    Neil, your recount of y’alls trip to Lochnagar and your pictures are breathtaking. Especially stunning is that picture at the very end – just about your meal with Lady Lynne’s piece of bacon on it – gosh- that sky is amazing!
    Looking forward to that tasty 15 minute breakfast recipe!
    Shashi at RunninSrilankan recently posted…Matcha & Banana Protein CrepesMy Profile

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      Yep, there’s lot’s more other stuff there Shashi! Ha ha 🙂

      Thank you as always for being so complimentary about my photographs, and the recount too. That means a lot.

      The sky – yes it’s good to get a reminder every now and then just how beautiful the blue sky is above Scotland, when the grey clouds part and we can actually see it. 😆

  2. I still want to stay at the bunkhouse. That place looked so cool, I remember. I am always mystified by the changing weather around you–one moment you are in sun and it is warm, next you are in rain (or in snow!). I am also totally taken with the incredible light in that picture of Lynne in the forest. So much color and contrast. You and Laura (This Runner’s Recipes) and Jo (Living Mint Green) make me so jealous of your adventures!
    Also, glad that you are still married 😀

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      You’re right about how incredible that light looks in the picture of Lynne.

      I only wish I could get a constant light, like that when I’m photographing my recipes. THAT’S a constant battle trying to get photographing done with dull grey light coming in my kitchen windows.

      But I’ll be grateful for days like these. And the fact we can get out and have adventures like these. Yes I’m glad I’m married too. Need someone to pay half of the bills 😉

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